The Russian-Ukrainian war entered the phase of conditional equilibrium. Today, both sides have put all their cards on the table and no longer have hidden trump cards capable of rapidly changing the status quo on the front. The balance is conditional, because at any moment it can be disturbed by certain decisions of key geopolitical players, which will significantly strengthen or weaken one of the parties. But there are no such decisions yet, the prerequisites for them have not yet appeared. And this is enough to start a new round of behind-the-scenes negotiations, diplomatic struggles, attempts to regroup and push through certain scenarios of the development of events desirable for certain parties involved in this war. In such conditions, it is extremely important to focus and clearly outline the situation in which we are now and the priority intermediate goals that we must achieve.
Emotional wow effect
Having defeated Russia in February of last year, Ukraine created a global emotional wow effect. It is obvious that the world was not ready for this at all. Firstly, he did not believe that Ukraine would be able to organize itself and manage to resist any resistance. Secondly, he did not believe that even if we organize ourselves, we will be able to give battle to the "second army of the world", to stand and fight as equals. And here one should read more carefully: the developed world was not ready for this war. So, he had no forecasts of how it would affect the world, scenarios of the development of military actions, diplomatic, geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences. A world accustomed to total certainty had no plans for this scenario. In particular, there was not and could not be a plan for a post-war global order. And this means that now we are in a moment of intense global improvisation: before our eyes, from thousands of ideas sifted through the sieve of interests, a plan of the global post-war system is being born in real time. Ukraine has every chance to draw up and lobby for its plan, if it is adequate and suits the key geopolitical players. Thanks to our resilience, we have the potential to play at the same table with the world's most powerful countries and set the global agenda now and into the future. The uniqueness of this chance is difficult to overestimate. Our resilience has given us the potential to play at the same table with the world's most powerful nations and set the global agenda for today and tomorrow. The uniqueness of this chance is difficult to overestimate. Our resilience has given us the potential to play at the same table with the world's most powerful nations and set the global agenda for today and tomorrow. The uniqueness of this chance is difficult to overestimate.
The global emotional wow-effect found a response in the hearts of voters around the world. Therefore, the politicians elected by them - the leaders of developed countries did not abandon Ukraine to the enemy, they began to support us in order to satisfy internal social demands and see what will happen next. And then it turned out that with its stability, indomitability, heroism and blood, Ukraine did not just ensure its survival, at least for now, but encroached on a radical reformation of the world order. However, unfortunately, so far no one in Ukraine or in the world clearly sees what it should be. And while the intellectual search for its configuration continues, the global emotional wow-effect is gradually running out. As wise people say, he who laughs hard in the evening, cries hard in the morning. Therefore, the societies of developed countries have already begun to tire of the Russian-Ukrainian war and its consequences and are beginning to express dissatisfaction. Their leaders reflect this: they increasingly talk about bringing the warring parties to the negotiating table. In this context, time is against Ukraine.
In order to ensure and strengthen the support of the West in the long term, to guarantee itself unconditional receipt of everything necessary for exiting the borders in 1991, Ukraine must offer the world something powerful instead of this global but temporary emotional wow effect. We have to show the developed countries that support us why they need all this. Why should they invest in the victory of Ukraine, why should they want our victory, why would it open up a better scenario for them than our defeat. In other words, we must offer the world a generally accepted plan for the post-war system that will be implemented after our victory, outline our place in it, and prove our readiness to implement it by our actions.
All large-scale wars end with a change in the system of international relations. This war is no exception. To survive, Ukraine must win it. To win, we have to do internal work on ourselves and attract enough external support (both components are important here). To attract the proper support, we must formulate a system of postwar international relations in which all those who support us (perhaps not only them) will benefit. And until there is clarity on this issue for key global players, no one will be in a hurry to end this war, let alone ensure Ukraine's victory in it. In this way, the local issue of Ukraine's survival turns into a global issue of a better future for the world, at least the part of the world that supports us. In this context, Ukraine is responsible for the future of the world.
In order to form an attractive vision of the future, first of all, it is necessary to take into account the existing world trends, which have already manifested themselves and will only develop over time. It is obvious that the basis of all current global processes lies in the economy, and more precisely in the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones or robotics, which in the coming years will release a significant amount of labor in those countries that have such technologies. Many analysts believe that this will lead to a sharp increase in unemployment on a global scale. But the dog is not buried there, because the history of economics teaches us that after every industrial revolution, the freed labor force eventually finds jobs, although not in traditional, but in newly created industries. Actually the point is
Presumably, developed countries will no longer have a systemic labor shortage that existed in recent decades and caused global migration flows. They can limit immigration and make borders harder for foreigners to cross. At the same time, it will not be enough for a developed country to possess only technologies: it will also need raw materials in order to produce (comparatively) extremely cheap goods and services with the help of existing technologies and provide them to its citizens. Two consequences follow from this.
First of all, global trade in the current format is losing its meaning. 40-50 years ago, the USA began to transfer production abroad, to the countries of Asia - Japan, South Korea, the People's Republic of China, in order to make labor cheaper, and thus the product itself. Now the labor force will be needed less, its costs in production will be lower, so it will not make sense to look for such radical ways to make it cheaper far abroad. Everything needed can be produced by the existing labor force, provided there is a sufficient amount of raw materials. All countries that possess the appropriate technologies will become self-sufficient. Provided sufficient resources are available. A circle of satellites, essentially colonies, will form around such countries, with which they will trade cheap goods and services in exchange for resources. Thus the world, as well as global trade, can hypothetically become multi-core. This is a kind of neo-colonialism, which, however, will have fundamentally different accents compared to the colonialism we know from history.
However, since the number and resource potential of colonies are limited in proportion to the number of metropolises that will have the appropriate technologies, then obviously a few of the most powerful metropolises will stand out, which will "reserve" colonies for themselves in a security-military way and will become a form factor in the creation of a single space for reserved colonies and friendly metropolises, integrated in security, economic, geopolitical and perhaps even cultural dimensions. This will be the case until man explores space in the context of industrial development of the minerals available there.
It is expected that the status of the most powerful metropolises, around which other countries will unite, is currently claimed by the USA and China. International trade between them may lose its meaning purely due to the action of the described economic mechanisms. And the value gap between them (horizontal versus vertical, authoritarianism versus democracy, etc.) will only strengthen these tendencies.
Thus, most likely, the world will be divided into two global cells, each of which will have a core (the USA and China), which will be the center and arbiter of all processes that take place within the cell, including international trade. In some ways, the situation will resemble the bipolar world of the Cold War period, but given the level of technology, the internal borders within the cell will be much more transparent than then, and its external contour will be much clearer. The fact that events are developing according to this scenario is evidenced by many facts, in particular, the duplication by China of international organizations created with an eye on the whole world after the Second World War, such as the IMF and the World Bank, the transformation of the yuan into a second, alternative reserve currency through the transfer by China oil payments in yuan, creation of a system of international lending in yuan, etc., as well as the development of the practice of the application of sanctions, which over time can be used specifically for the clearer formation of the contours of two global cells. The borders between two cells can be hot, that is, there will be constant wars on them, or cold, if the centripetal migration processes simply wash the life out of them, or hard, pumped, if each of the cells will have its own strong outpost countries on its outer borders, which will perform solid list of functionality.
Second, since raw materials become the key limiting factor, until a certain stable equilibrium is established between the two global cores, an intense struggle will begin to "reserve" the colonies that will supply the raw materials. That is why now Russia and China have dramatically increased their efforts to sway the Global South to their side. That is why coups have started in African countries with surprising regularity. In this solitaire, Ukraine's voice becomes golden, because our resources will strengthen any of the nuclei not only directly, but also as a means of obtaining energy carriers from Arab countries and non-energy minerals from African countries.
Since raw materials will be in short supply before mankind explores space, the struggle for it between the two nuclei may become permanent. And if a country with rich reserves of raw materials is unable to integrate into the cell system as a whole, then various destructive external forces will tear it apart like a body into organs. With such an economic base, the risk of such discontinuities, which will eventually turn countries from states into territories, is huge. Especially along the perimeter of the outer borders between global cells.
Scenarios for Ukraine
In this context, there are several scenarios for Ukraine that will directly determine the outcome of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
1. "Maximum load" scenario. Ukraine becomes a full partner of the West in creating one of the global cells. If we take on such a role, then due to our potential, we will have to perform several strategically important functions in the cell, including being the eastern security gate of the West (the cell will have to fight off the influx of migrants from disadvantaged countries - this will be our function), the energy hub of the West ( primarily from renewable energy, but also from its traditional sources), a regional logistics center, a training ground for the latest technologies, a supplier of raw materials, etc.
This scenario assumes our victory in the Russian-Ukrainian war. For the West, such a scenario is attractive, it is ready to quickly invest enough money and weapons in it so that Ukraine wins this war. But so far he does not see with whom in Ukraine such a scenario can be implemented, because - let's be honest - until now Ukraine has systematically demonstrated its inability to implement long-term projects with quality and to be a reliable partner. And this is exactly what we are talking about. For Ukrainians, the implementation of this scenario is the same as for an alcoholic to stop drinking and eventually run a marathon. Maybe, but extremely unlikely. However, everything is in our hands and on our responsibility. The West is waiting for us to manifest it.
2. "Scorched Earth" scenario. Ukraine is a draw, it is not included in any of the two cells. But since the resources available in it are too valuable to give to a rival cell, it is in the interests of both nuclei to maintain the smoldering of any military actions on our territory. Then Ukraine will turn into a breaking point, a second Afghanistan, which one or the other will try to take over, but in the end nobody will get it, because it will be easier to burn it down than to take it under control. On our territory, hostilities will either break out or subside until all Ukrainians die or go abroad to eventually assimilate. Remember the recent withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan and do not indulge yourself in illusions that the West has already invested too much here to just give up on us. Time,
This scenario predicts neither victory nor defeat for Ukraine as a state, but a war to the last Ukrainian, and therefore the final defeat of the Ukrainian people. I do not undertake to assert that in the calculations of the USA and China this scenario occupies at least a little important place, but the circumstances are such that we are now following it. Not only will global events develop towards a bicellular world, the probability of this scenario will become greater. And it must be recognized that the unique greed of the Ukrainian government serves as a determining factor in its implementation in a strategic perspective, because as soon as and if the West realizes the actual incapacity of the Ukrainian government, it will wave its hand at us and be disappointed in any prospects of building something worthwhile with us on our territory .
It would be a mistake to believe that as a result of the "necessary" negotiations, Ukraine will be divided along some demarcation line (the Korean scenario) and this will be a balanced option that will suit everyone, because at the same time the West will supposedly be able to develop the part of Ukraine that will remain to it. This option will not suit Russia, because it will not have a critical amount of resources to influence the agenda in the eastern global cell, therefore, over time, it will de facto turn into a degraded raw material appendage. Therefore, it will fight for control over Ukraine until the end, which makes a third scenario potentially possible.
3. "Back to the USSR" scenario. Ukraine is coming back under the influence of Russia, becoming a raw appendage of a raw appendage. At the same time, millions of Ukrainians fall under the rink of repression, they are actually exterminated, other millions emigrate away from extermination, and the territory of Ukraine is controlled by Buryat and Chechen policemen, who methodically exterminate the million who will join the partisans. We are supposedly entering the Chinese "cell", but not directly, but through Russia, which is temporarily gaining strength because it controls a significant amount of the world's necessary resources, but has never managed to become the core of the third cell, because it is unable to accumulate the necessary technologies. Therefore, China is gradually passing Ukraine under its control, but not as a coherent state entity, but as a body divided into organs.
Such a scenario presupposes first the defeat of Ukraine in the war, and therefore the gradual, smoldering final defeat of the Ukrainian people. So far, it seems the least likely, although for Russia its implementation is a matter of survival as a global player with the right to vote. However, it would take a significant change of power in the US to begin to see us as an object to be exchanged for something else. Therefore, as a result of a certain combination of circumstances, the probability of such a scenario can increase significantly.
Today, mentally, there are two Ukraines. One demonstrates miracles of heroism, resilience and fearlessness, she was seated at the table together with the most powerful states of the world, she is given the right to speak, she is listened to. This provides enormous opportunities to influence the global agenda. The second Ukraine put on its pants after the start of the war, went abroad, and when it saw that the situation had stabilized, it returned here, at least on paper, to impiously steal: money at the level of state and local budgets, the achievements of the first Ukraine at the mental and ideological level, the results of the work of responsible Ukrainians at the level of fighting for victory. The difference between them is simple: those who belong to the first Ukraine have overcome the barrier of fear, and those who belong to the second have not. Since the border between the two Ukraines runs deep in the heart of every Ukrainian, no one knows where exactly does it go? Therefore, both mentalities of Ukraine get along in a strange way on the same territory. They cannot be separated from each other, therefore no division of geographical Ukraine along any demarcation line will solve the problem.
The fact of overcoming or not overcoming fear often manifests itself in certain individual characteristics of specific people. Those who stopped being afraid are often more responsible, proactive, decent, patriotic. When communicating with them, it seems that they are adults, very adults. Those who have not passed through the barrier of fear seem surprisingly infantile, immature, children in the bad sense of the word, who stumble at every step - and in the moral sense, too. The problem is that while the former went to fight, because they clearly feel their civic duty, the latter, like children without the care of adults, staged a bacchanalia in the rear. And this clearly threatens Ukraine with a strategic defeat.
I do not know how the situation looks from the perspective of our Western partners and how much patience they have to go along with Ukraine, in particular with its second version, until the implementation of the first scenario. But I definitely understand that the hot front and all the seriousness of the events taking place on it have drawn a significant part of "adult" Ukrainians physically and elementary to the level of the place to which their attention is focused. It turns out that, on the one hand, the war shed light on who is who. And this is good, because in many cases it became obvious who is the "adult" in this country and who can be entrusted with leadership over it. On the other hand, many of those left behind, including those currently running the country, are doing wild things because of the loosening of control. They often simply do not fit on the head, but at the same time they illuminate the "infants" well.
It seems that our Western partners are gradually understanding all this and who is who in the Ukrainian state. They asked the current government to get rid of the "infants" if it wants to continue receiving their aid. But our government has been resisting for more than half a year and fundamentally does not want to clean itself up. And this raises fears that it will lead the country to the abyss, and at the same time confirms the accusations of those who believe that this government intends to fight to the last Ukrainian.
The picture is gloomy, but not hopeless. Just now there is an ideal opportunity for adult Ukrainians to act. This is our responsibility not only for the whole of Ukraine, but also for the future of the whole world. If the government shows infantility, it must be pressured (if we sweep it away - and there have been precedents in history - it will only play into Russia's hands). If there are adults in power, they should be helped. Infants in power must be changed, social pressure on them must be unbearable for them. A significant part of adults must be taken from the front to important areas of work in the rear. I understand that the task is complicated by the fact that Ukraine has a rotten system of public administration inherited from Soviet times, which extinguishes any adequate initiatives and promotes the development of infantilism among officials. But in order to neutralize it, adult Ukrainians must unite,
The circumstances are such that adult Ukrainians have to wage war on several fronts - internal (inaction and sabotage), military (with an existential enemy), diplomatic (for support from partners) and global (for the implementation of the first of the named scenarios in the most favorable for the West on Ukraine keys). The task is not easy. But there are many of us now. You just have to regroup and start attacking.